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Top Chef Nick Elmi's new restaurant Laurel - a review

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Good morning all! I posted this in the Philly board but thought the Top Chef fans would be curious

My husband and I ate at Laurel on Friday. It was fantastic. The decor is very soothing and it's not too noisy (the sound cushions on the ceiling and the comfy chairs help!). Service was very friendly and helpful. Here's what we had:

First course
Fluke crudo with asian pear and horseradish sauce - a surprisingly larger portion which 2 can definitely split. The sauce was creamy and complemented the fluke perfectly. This kind of reminded me of Patty's snapper crudo dish she made in this week's episode.

Mache lettuce salad with honey buttermilk dressing - a light, fall salad; a good meal starter

Second course
Ricotta gnocchi with lardo and ricotta salata - this was the star of the night. Bowl of heavenly pillows of pasta with a nice crunch of lardo and croutons. My DH and I fought for the last bite!

Third course
Pork with chanterelles - I only had a couple of bites, but it was cooked perfectly

Dourade with parsnips and burgundy snails - beautiful white, flaky fish with crispy skin. I'm not a big fan of snails, but if you like them, these weren't rubbery or chewy

Fourth course
White chocolate mousse with chocolate cookie crumbles - very nice, light ending to the meal

I will definitely be back. I thought Chef Elmi had a knack for mixing textures, (like adding a bit a crunch to softer dishes) which I liked very much. All the flavors were well balanced.

Chef Elmi was food running a bit throughout the night. He is charming and adorable :) I told him we were happy to have him in the neighborhood.

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  1. Thanks for the report.

    While it's early to decide who to root for, I'm leaning towards him, Nina and Justin. So I'm glad he's living up to my belief in his talent.